Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

What a great spell of weather we are enjoying—the weather at times over the weekend was almost tropical.

It was great to see a number of parents at our information evening last Wednesday night. A school is

always a very busy place with a huge number of things happening, often at the same time.

The key purpose of the information evening and the information letters that the teachers put out at the beginning of the term is to inform the parents about: the expectations that they have for your children, the goals that they want to achieve, how they are going to achieve the goals and what events and activities you can expect for your child to take part in over the term.

Communication is a key part of any organisation and that is why at St Mary’s we put a lot of effort into communicating with our parents in a range of ways, the information evening was the first. There are also two interviews and two written reports about your child’s progress. We have a weekly school newsletter an informative website, a Facebook page, a termly BOT newsletter and also teachers send out a termly newsletter. We also highlight key events by sending out special newsletters and emails. All our staff are available for other informal meetings and during the course of a year we run several parent information evenings as well as a rigorous consultation programme.

So please use these wide ranging communication avenues to ensure you are well informed about our school.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

As educators and indeed as parents we are always looking at ways that we can help our children to obtain a better education and become more engaged and involved citizens.

One simple way and indeed a way that is the focus of a long term push by the Ministry of Education is to ensure that when ever possible your child is at school.

When they are unwell obviously they should be at home getting better. If something comes up that is an extra ordinary event and can’t be done during holiday time that is understandable.

But studies show that if a child is absent for more than 10% of the school year it will have a big impact: academically and socially.

The Ministry of Education’s slogan to support better attendance is "attendance matters", and it does.

Our school goal for 2016 is to have a greater number of our pupils attending over 90% that is being at school for at least 345 half days this year or being absent for 19 days or less.

Our opening school Mass alongside our Whanau picnic and fun day were very successful especially the games afternoon which was very well supported. Thank you to all those who came along.

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

Well that was a very pleasant and restful long weekend. I think sometimes when you are standing by a quiet river at dusk casting out a fishing line (although in two years I haven’t caught anything) it is a great time to relax and reflect on what is important.

As a teacher and a parent I tend to often think of things that relate to learning and especially the skills and values that will enable our children to have a great life.

The one that struck me was that they need to be honest and truthful. Honesty is a hard skill to work with because it sometimes means telling people what they may not want to hear. So an important part of

honesty is about the way that you communicate.

You can be accurate and totally honest but if the message you deliver is too blunt then the message

recipient will simply mark you as an enemy, and ignore your message. If you don’t make the message firm enough they will simply "fob you off" as not important.

So the skill mainly by our actions that we need to teach our kids is to be honest, to say to someone's face what you would say behind their back and to be sensitive when delivering a message.

Personally I respect people who approach me with a criticism, then face to face the points can be

discussed. Like most people I have no respect for those who deal in gossip and innuendo.

Honesty is the way that our society functions. Scientific experience would be of no use without honest

evidence and our relationships with each other become dysfunctional without honesty.

As Williams Shakespeare said "No legacy is so rich as honesty".

Have a great week

Mike Brosnahan

Welcome to all the new children at St Mary’s School
A thought for the week

Always dream and shoot higher than you know how to. Don’t bother just to be better than your

contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. -William Faulkner

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Dear Parents, Caregivers and Friends of St Mary’s School,

Welcome back to everyone for the new school year. We start the year with a roll of 137 this is the largest beginning of the year roll that we have had for many years. We welcome a number of new pupils and their families.

During the last month our family went through a major milestone, Sean our son left home to go flatting!

While he is a second year law student at University and is 19 years old and only lives 10 minutes from home, this is still a major milestone. One bedroom is empty, one place at the table (well for most meals) is vacant. Yes the washing line still carries the same load (at the moment anyway) but things have changed.

Life is like that, just when we get used to something, it changes. Two of my favourite musicians Glen Frey (of the Eagles) and David Bowie passed away during the last month.

Their music was the music of my youth, my family get sick of hearing "Taking it Easy" or "Ziggy Stardust".

As I reflect on these changes a theme comes through. Changes happen and we are remembered for our contributions (be they songs or being a good part of a family).

So as we move on into 2016, we should focus on making the most of each and every opportunity and to use a Latin quote: occupare momento—seize the moment.

Have a great year

Mike Brosnahan